Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two Blogs?

I am spending a lot of time with my blogtalkradio show, and as a result, I have not been actively posting on this blog. Having two blogs of similar content doesn't sound like good sense to me, but I'm not quite ready to discontinue this blog. So, as I contemplate what I am going to do, please join me at my other blog at: The Rapturous Reader on blogtalkradio. There you can listen to my most recent author interview, as well as listen to previous interviews in my archives. I will also begin posting the interviews on that blog. Your thoughts?

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

An Interview with Doug & Jackie Christie, Authors of "No Ordinary Love: A True Story of Marriage and Basketball"

TRR: How do you define infinite love?

JC: There is nothing, within reason of course, that you would not do for your mate or for someone. I love Doug and my children infinitely. There is no limit.

I must agree with my wife on this one. There is no limit to how much you love someone when you have infinite love for them, and nothing you wouldn't do for them. I have given her my heart, body, and mind, and we are truly soul mates. It is the ultimate love.

TRR: Both of you said that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." Tell me more.

I am so thankful I found my wife. She is my soul mate and best friend. She is my queen, the mother of my children, and someone I truly admire and respect. She is my infinite love. I feel so blessed I have been able to play in the NBA, because basketball is in me, and always will be. I fought a long hard battle to get to the NBA, and I thank God for getting me there. I also thank my wife and family for supporting me through it.

He is my knight in shining armor, and has stood the test of time with me. He is my soul mate, lover and best friend. He cares for my soul like no other, and is the best father I could have wished for.

I live in Sacramento, so I have to ask both of you about your years in Sacramento; from the perspectives of being in the NBA, raising a family, and pursuing other endeavors.

DC/JC: Our time in Sacramento was the very best while being in the NBA. We love Sacramento, and consider it our second home. The Sacramento fans are the best in the league, and we feel like they are a part of our family. Everyone in Sacramento was always so supportive of us in everything we've done. We thank them whole heartedly.

Doug, in the book, you said that being a father is important to you, and that there are certain things your children will never have to go through; simply because you are there for them. Tell me more.

Yes, I grew up in a single parent household, and did not have the benefit of growing up with both parents. I want our children to feel the foundation that having both parents gives.

I also grew up in a single parent household, and so I too can attest to the fact that having both parents offers a foundation not experienced in a single parent home. This is not to say that it can't be done, but I'm grateful to be able to give our children the love of both mommy and daddy.

Tell us about the reality show and what it really says (or doesn't say) about the two of you? Is it on this season?

Our show is doing fantastic, and has been very well received! Since so much has been written about us, and the rumors really hurt, we really wanted to do the show, so that people could decide for themselves. We are glad we did. It is in reruns right now on BET, and the new season starts in the next coming weeks.

What else is on the Doug and Jackie Christie agenda?

Our new season of "The Christies Committed", and our new radio show on blogtalkradio! We each have new books coming out as well, as does our daughter Chantel. We will be managing Chantel's music career and Doug will be coaching our son in basketball, soccer, and the electric guitar!

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Learn more about Doug and Jackie Christie, and their new book,
"No Ordinary Love: A True Story of Marriage and Basketball"
by listening to The Rapturous Reader on blogtalkradio!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

You can also call in and speak with them LIVE! at
(646) 716-9832.

Click below to view the show time in your area.

Listen to The Rapturous Reader on internet talk radio

Monday, October 29, 2007

Doug & Jackie Christie Join Me LIVE on Nov. 11!

Lasting marriages aren't the norm in today's society, and while there are a wealth of "how-to" books available, it is inspiring to read about couples who are working right now to keep their marriage healthy and thriving.

Doug Christie,14-year NBA star, and his wife, Jackie, a former fashion model, will be joining me on The Rapturous Reader on BlogTalkRadio to discuss
"No Ordinary Love: A True Story of Marriage and Basketball"; the first of many books to come out of their publishing company, Infinite Love Publishing. Join us to learn how they have sustained a strong marriage in the highly publicized and criticized world of the NBA.

Join us on Sunday, November 11, 2007 for our LIVE! discussion with Doug and Jackie Christie, and learn more about their recent book.

Click below to see what time the discussion will be LIVE! in your area!

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An Interview With Linda F. Beed, Author of "Business Unusual"

TRR: Tell us about you.

LFB:I am a sold out woman of God, a wife, a mother and grandmother with a fierce passion for life. That passion has found avenues to travel through my writing, as an educator and Children’s minister.

TRR: When and why did you decide to become an author?

LFB: For years I picked up this manuscript then put it away. Two years ago I knew I had to either follow through with publishing or walk totally away from it.

TRR: Tell us about Business Unusual.

LFB: Business Unusual invites readers into the private world of Bernadette Lewis. She is learned, accomplished and walks without apology for the life many only dream of having. Her senses tell her that she is ready to go to the next level in terms of her business. What she will discover is that there is something required of her in order for this to happen.

During this time of seeking, Bernadette is faced with the forced re-acquaintance with a grandmother she has ritually despised. She must deal with the possibility of a key employee acting up. Add to that, her meeting the one man her father warned each woman would meet at least once in their lives. He also advised that when she did, she should walk away. Decisions to be made are intricate to not only her future, but that of generations to come.

TRR: What inspired you to write it?

LFB: On a whim I entered a short story contest. As I wrote, I thought it could become a novel, but dismissed the thought because my formal education was not in the literary field. After my sister read it she encouraged me to make it into a novel, in order for her to read the end of the story. Her words were the encouragement I needed.

TRR: Bernadette begins having dreams where she is standing before a house with 3 doors, which is depicted on the cover of the book. Tell us about this, without explaining the meaning. The listeners will have to read that for themselves!

LFB: In the midst of our madness God will speak to us. Via a repetitive dream Bernadette is being told what she refuses to hear from others.

TRR: Towards the end of the book, there is a powerful statement that says, "...When I marry, it will be to a man rooted in and walking with God because it takes more than human love to sustain a marriage." What message do you hope other women (and men) get from reading Business Unusual?

LFB: My prayer is that my readers will hear God speaking to them from the pages. He is telling us how valuable we are to Him and that we do not have to settle for second, third or fourth, because He has provided the best for us. We just need to connect to Him, listen and obey.

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Join us on October 28, 2007 for our LIVE discussion with Linda F. Beed, and learn more about her recent novel, Business Unusual.

Click below to see what time the discussion will be LIVE in your area!

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's Next For Kendra Norman-Bellamy?

During Sunday's blogtalkradio interview with Kendra Norman-Bellamy, I asked her, "What's next?", and she shared information about a number of projects. One that she is especially excited about is Cruisin' for Christ II, which she says gives her chills just thinking about it. Those "chills" are contagious, because now, I too am excited. So let's all grab our credit cards, and book our reservations now! The deadline for locking in the prices with a $25.00 per person deposit ($250.00 pp/Suit) is due October 17, 2007.

She also has two book projects that will release in April 2008. One is a short story in an anthology called Rugged Roses, that will release through Harlequin (New Spirit imprint), and the other is Battle of Jericho, which releases through Urban books (Urban Christian imprint). Rugged Roses is a collection of three dramatic stories that surround the ups and downs of mother/daughter relationships. Her story in that anthology is entitled The Cracked Mirror. Battle of Jericho is the second book in The Shelton Heights Series, and is a follow up novel to In Greene Pastures.

Ohh, one more thing..Guess what is on her reading table?

  • Monica McKayhan's "The Evening After"
  • T.D. Jake's "Reposition Yourself."

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Recent Reader Roundtable Discussion

I just love book discussions! Don't you? I had an absolutely wonderful time on Sunday, discussing Anjuelle Floyd's book, Keeper of Secrets..Translations of an Incident.

Joining me for the roundtable discussion were Dr. Linda Beed, author of the new novel, Business Unusual, and Lisa G. Riley, author of 4 novels and 3 novellas, including, Bound To Ecstasy. My special guest was the author, Anjuelle Floyd, who listened in and joined us as we weaved our way through four of the eight stories; sharing our perspectives on the character's relationships, decisions, and secrets. You can listen to our discussion by clicking onto the media player, or by visiting my archive shows at The Rapturous Reader on blogtalkradio.

If you've read the book, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. For example:
  • What was your impression of Raven, and what did you think about her decisions? Did you think there was something else keeping her awake at night, rather than the cries of her baby? Why did you think Raven got involved in the incident?
  • What did you think about Lahni's doubts and choices? Why do you think she kept her secret from her husband? Why was Sahel ambivalent? What did you think about the relationship between her husband and her childhood friend?

Medium Image

Monday, October 1, 2007

Meet Essence Magazine Bestselling Author Kendra Norman-Bellamy!

Join Us LIVE! Oct. 14.

TRR: When did you first begin writing?

KNB: I still recall the first time I ever tried to write in an artistic manner. I was ten years old and my fifth grade teacher challenged the class to do something creative for our mothers for Mother’s Day. At that moment I decided I’d write my mom a poem. Admittedly, the four-line verse that I wrote that day was quite awful, but ironically, it became the seed that in due course, flourished into an amazing career.

TRR: I’ve seen your works classified as Christian Fiction and Romance. How would you categorize your works?

KNB: I write Christian fiction. Romance is my favorite genre and readers can most likely determine that when they read my novels. However, while romantic scenes can always been found in my stories, there are certain of my novels where drama or mystery might be the larger flavor.

TRR: Would you consider your writing as a ministry?

KNB: Ohh,
absolutely! Every time I embark on crafting a new story, I pray for God’s guidance. I don’t just want to write a book that’s entertaining. I want readers to find my work uplifting, inspirational and even life-changing. My prayer is that there is always a message in my stories that will touch the hearts of those who read it. God gave me a prison ministry through my novels and I’ve known people to come to know the Lord on a deeper, more personal level after reading some of my titles. So, yes; I definitely see it as a ministry and I feel quite blessed to be used of God in this manner.

TRR: One reviewer on Amazon.com said of your book, “you have your suspense, romance, humor and reality along with the Presence of God.” Most of your titles have a romantic flair, yet this one has a mystery undertone. Tell us about In Greene Pastures.

KNB: In Greene Pastures is my first published novel that I categorize as a romantic suspense. I suppose all of my books are a bit enthralling, but the dose of mystery in In Greene Pastures is the more prominent ingredient whereas it is secondary in my other books. In Greene Pastures is really a bona fide whodunit. A prominent, well-respected preacher is found dead and his family, congregation and the city as a whole are left wondering whether his death was an accident or murder. This book is the first in what has been hailed “The Shelton Heights Series.” Each book in this three-book collection will surround the lives of families that live in a notorious neighborhood called Shelton Heights, and each of the installments will comprise of a healthy dose of suspense with a dash of romance.

TRR: You are the founder and organizer of the recent Cruisin’ for Christ 2007, and I read you regard it as “mission accomplished”. Why?

KNB: I just get overwhelmed with joy every time I think of this massive undertaking. Cruisin’ For Christ 2007 (www.CruisinForChrist.org) was a challenge that God placed in my lap unannounced; and making it a reality was no easy task. Yet, as I planned this mission, everything I needed was provided in miraculous fashion. I dub it “mission accomplished” because every hope and dream that I had throughout the planning process of the cruise was realized at sea. In fact, the cruise exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. I wanted the cruise to be both a source of entertainment and a means of ministry and that’s exactly what it was. We’ve already started planning for Cruisin’ For Christ II, and it promises to be even more marvelous.

Join us on October 14, 2007 for our LIVE discussion with Kendra Norman-Bellamy, and learn more about her recent novel, In Greene Pastures.

Click below to see what time the discussion will be LIVE in your area!

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shhh...Secrets, Loves, and Decisions

Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident
by Anjuelle Floyd

The elegant, accomplished African-American protagonists are transformed by witnessing a near stabbing in a restaurant one evening. Their personal translations of the incident propel them toward deeper connections, unifying the characters in their search for self-definition and the meaning of their lives.

Reader Roundtable on October 7, 2007
Lisa Diane will be joined by other rapturous readers for a lively discussion on Anjuelle Floyd's new novel . Click below to see what time the discussion will be LIVE in your area!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Interview With Andre Coleman

Taking a bold leap forward from his already-entertaining debut novel A Liar's Tale, Andre Coleman undertakes the history of black America over the last 40 years through the eyes of one family, mixing the personal and the political while creating a work that could ultimately stand as the African-American Wonder Years.
--Carl Kozlowski - Life the Final Frontier

RR: What inspired you to write Blackbirds: Volume 1?

AC: I have always been interested in this time period, and I wanted to show what it was like to be a black man. I mean, really getting into what we feel, how we think and the experience. So I decided to connect it to the entire black experience. Like a lot of folks, I wondered what I would have been like if I came up then. Would I have been one of the folks who marched or a kid who sang on the street corner? I have a real love for the music of the day. I couldn’t make up my mind, so I created characters that do both, and made them brothers. Then the book evolved and really became about the family.

When I got the book back from the printer I was disappointed. I sent him a proof with a lot of changes. He only made about half of them, so there are some typos. But that’s not stopping people from reading it. It burns me up, and I almost pulled the book off of Amazon, but a professor in Arizona emailed me and told me he was going to use it to teach his black history class, and he convinced me to leave it out there. I plan on making the corrections on the second printing. So these will be collector’s items!

RR: The trailer of the book showed a number of difficult to look at, but real events in history. Would you categorize Blackbirds... as historical fiction? Why/why not?

The book is definitely historical fiction, but it’s also about family. It is a five volume look at the black experience through the eyes of one family. The people may not exist, but their experiences are real and moving. I also call it real “real fiction” because it pulls no punches. I get real about all of it; church, politics, the way black folks step on each other.

RR: Are there similarities between the experiences of the McCray family and your family during your teenage years?

AC: Well I am only 43, my mother’s maiden name is McCray and she is from Louisiana. So I use a lot of the little touches I learned about the south.Volume five is about me.

RR: What emotions do you hope your readers will experience as they read the last pages of the novel?

AC: All of them. I hate demographics. I don’t write heroes and villains. I write real people in real situations, hopefully that make the reader stop and think. But like real life some parts of the book are a tragedy, other parts are a romantic, funny and then there is the action and I love writing the history. Read it, you won’t be disappointed.

Born and raised in Southern California, Andre Coleman is currently the city reporter for Pasadena Weekly.

On Sunday, September 16 at 3:00 p.m. (PDT), I'll continue to talk with Andre about his new novel and Razor7 Publishing, his publishing company.
Join our discussion at: www.blogtalkradio.com/therapturousreader.
In the meantime, visit his website: www.razor7.com where you can get a signed copy of his novel!

Scroll down to my previous post to see the trailer for the novel!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Author Interview and BlogTalkRadio Debut!

Join us on Sunday Sept. 16 at 3:00 p.m. (PDT) at www.blogtalkradio.com/therapturousreader, for a live BlogTalkRadio interview with Andre.

Have a question for comment for Andre?

Call in and join us at (646) 716-9832. More...

I Have a Talk Show

Monday, August 27, 2007

A "Bathroom Book" For Your Uninterested Reader

Medium Image Open the Unusual Door: True Life Stories of Challenge, Adventure, and Success by Black Americans, is a great book that will inspire your daughter or son as (s)he begins or returns back to high school. This is a wonderful cross section of excerpts from published autobiographies of people who are still alive,and prominent in society. I remember one of my sons asking me why the school only had biographies of dead people on their reading lists. I looked at the list, and sure enough, the majority of the books were about people who were dead. So we promptly went to the bookstore and searched for an autobiography of a person still living. He chose Journey to Justice by Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who was still alive at the time. So move those bathroom magazines over, and make room for a good book!

From Booklist
Gr. 8-11. Summers offers profiles written by 16 prominent African Americans who made choices that changed the paths of their lives for the better. The subjects include athletes (Derek Jeter, Peter Westbrook, and Chamique Holdsclaw), entertainers (Whoopie Goldberg, Queen Latifa, and Russell Simmons), writers (Susan Fales-Hill, Antwone Fisher, E. Lynn Harris, Lynne Duke, Michael Cottman, and bell hooks), community activists (Sister Souljah and Derek Scott King), a scientist (Neil de Grasse Tyson), and a statesman (Colin Powell). The writing styles and the themes vary greatly, reflecting each author's life experiences and personality. Several individuals dealt with coaches or mentors who pushed them almost beyond the limits of physical and mental endurance; others came to terms with difficult issues of sexuality; still others recount how discovering their life's passion, whether astrophysics or the military, focused their lives and gave them direction. These thoughtful essays will make excellent discussion starters, whether the goal is career guidance, inspiration, or knowledge of contemporary African Americans.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Book By Eric Jerome Dickey

Best-selling writer Eric Jerome Dickey's new novel is Waking with Enemies.

From Publishers Weekly
Picking up where Sleeping with Strangers left off, Dickey's latest novel finds hit man Gideon in London, where another assassin, a mysterious man with a broken nose, is hot on his trail. Gideon's most recent target was a rapper, Big Bad Wolf. The rival rapper who hired Gideon for the hit, Sledge, was recently assassinated, and Gideon assumes he is the latest target. The nonstop narrative follows Gideon as he evades the assassin, searches for the truth about his hooker mother, continues his involvement with tough girl Arizona (who wants Gideon to kill her older sister), tries to figure out who ordered the hit on him and finds time for some explicitly chronicled fantasy sex. Though the revelations about who's behind what are a stretch and the ending is a little too much on the rosy side, there's a lot of fun to be had in watching Gideon work his brutal trade, and the high-octane narrative will have readers burning through page after page. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Today I read an interview with Mr. Dickey in USA Today , and was intrigued by the books he just bought. Some of them are very different than his works: The Stolen Heart: A Novel of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates (writing as Lauren Kelly); Tropic of Cancer and Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller; I Got Somebody in Staunton: Stories; and Envy: A Novel.

For those of you in Inglewood, CA and Carson, CA, he will be doing a book signing in your area on August 17 and 18.

Click here for details! >>Tour Schedule

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hunger Was A Hit!

So, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? Especially a woman over 40! I just finished reading Hunger by Erica Simone Turnipseed, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I first began the book, I thought it was going to another one of those shallow books; however, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters. So many of the African American works have covers that yell "sex!", that I assumed (wrongly) that the title "hunger" was a sexual reference. While sexual acts are a part of the story line, the meaning of the title is much more complex than sex alone.It's more than a love story. It's a tale of self-actualization, responsibility and maturity. Even a woman over 40 can enjoy and relate, and men, there is a message for you also!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hunger by Erica Simone Turnipseed

I am currently reading "Hunger" by Erica Simone Turnipseed. It's a cross-cultural love story about 30ish people in crises in the aftermath of 9/11. I am finding it harder and harder to read books in which the main character is younger than 30, and to be perfectly honest, if Harper Collins had not sent it to me to review as a part of the Amistad Advisory Board, I doubt I would have read it. This is no criticism of the author and her writing, it just an age thing. Can anyone else relate?